A version of this article originally appeared on Learnvest.com.
As many Northeasterners learned from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, a natural disaster can strip you of your worldly belongings without warning. Similar lessons have recently resounded all around the country, from wildfires in Colorado to major blizzards in the Midwest.
And many renters are unprepared.
Generally speaking, your landlord’s insurance will cover repairs to the property, but not your belongings or the cost of living elsewhere if you have to leave during repairs. (Your landlord is only responsible to you if he was aware of unsafe conditions and didn’t fix them in a reasonable time frame.)
For roughly $300 a year, however, a basic renter’s insurance policy will cover about $50,000 in property damage.
As with all insurance policies, renter’s insurance covers certain things and not others. We spoke to real people who benefited from renter’s insurance to learn what they were most grateful for.
Here are seven times you need renter’s insurance, and seven loopholes to watch out for.
You need renter’s insurance …